Qualcomm and Apple team up to let the iPhone 14 line reach the sky

Perhaps not as exciting to the average consumer as Dynamic Island seems, Apple has added satellite connectivity to all four iPhone 14 models. This feature will allow users to send emergency messages even when they are outside cellular range or Wi-Fi. While this writer is guilty of this as well, we should probably be more excited about satellite communication than how Apple can make this useful.

So what chips did Apple add to the iPhone 14 series to make satellite communication possible? Citing an iPhone 14 Pro Max breakdown by iFixit, and a statement from Apple, Reuters He revealed that the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 modem chip does double duty on phones. The chip not only helps iPhone 14 series users to connect to 5G signals, but also works with the n53 band. The latter is the radio band used by Globalstar’s satellites.

Apple retained a large percentage of the capacity of satellite provider Globalstar

Earlier this year, in a model deal for Apple, the company agreed to acquire up to 85% of Globalstar’s satellite transmission capacity for the iPhone 14’s satellite emergency messaging system.
yesterday, apple He told Reuters that the new models also have Apple-owned hardware and software to help the satellite messaging feature do its job. “The iPhone 14 includes dedicated radio frequency components, and new software designed entirely by Apple, which together enables emergency SOS via satellite on the new iPhone 14 models,” the tech giant said.
To use the new feature, hold your iPhone 14 unit as you normally would while making sure it is not in a pocket or backpack. You don’t have to raise it to heaven. Make sure you are outdoors with a clear view of the sky and horizon. Apple wants you to keep an eye on trees because those with “light foliage” can slow down the signals and those with “dense foliage” can block them entirely.

Hills, mountains, valleys, and tall structures are also able to block satellite signals. And if you need to turn left or right, the directions on your iPhone screen will tell you what to do. Once you are connected to the satellite, your phone will maintain that connection even if the screen is locked.

Apple suggests that in the event of an emergency, you should first try to call for help. If you can’t receive a call, tap on Emergency via Satellite. You will be asked some questions about the emergency. Your message is sent to the emergency dispatch center where appropriate assistance is sought.

Emergency SOS will be launched via satellite in November after the iOS 16 update.

Apple and Qualcomm will continue to act as partners for the foreseeable future

Interestingly enough, Apple was planning to design its own modem chip and use it in 80% of 2023 iPhones. But Qualcomm put a kibosh on those plans thanks to two of its patents. So as we wrote in July, “Qualcomm will now supply Apple with 100% of 5G modems for the iPhone 15 2023 line leaving Apple with a bad taste in its mouth.”

Keep in mind that Apple spent $1 billion, a significant amount Apple spends on a single purchase, to buy Intel’s smartphone modem business. In addition, after Apple reached a settlement with Qualcomm allowing all legal action between the spouses to be dropped, Apple was supposed to continue using Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G modem chips for a few years while designing its internal component.

For now, Qualcomm is sitting in the jumper’s seat. Unless Apple can figure out a way around the above patents, Qualcomm will continue to supply Apple with 5G modems for the iPhone for the foreseeable future. Qualcomm is widely believed to offer the best 5G modems for smartphones.